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By Busisani Ncube

Two security guards were shot dead on Monday afternoon while escorting Eskom technicians attending to an electricity supply fault in Philippi East, Cape Town.

The incident occurred as the team was leaving the area in their cars after completing work and the two guards died on the scene, while the technicians managed to escape unharmed.

With the area considered high-risk and notorious for gun violence, the guards were accompanying the power utility employees.

They were employed by VusaIsizwe Security, a company contracted to provide armed protection services for Eskom.

“We are saddened by this loss of life and the trauma which the families of the two security guards, the employer and colleagues are now suffering,” Eskom General Manager for distribution in the Western Cape Alwie Lester said.

“Our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. As Eskom, we condemn this violent act in the strongest terms.”

“I am grateful that our employees were not physically harmed in this attack and they will receive the necessary counselling and support that such trauma has undoubtedly caused. We will offer the same support to VusaIsizwe Security.”

The Association of Private Security Owners of South Africa (Tapsosa) added it’s voice following the incident, decrying the South African Police Service (SAPS)’s alleged blind eye on increasing cases of security guards being killed while in the line of duty.

“The killing of security officers is really distressing, we were promised the industry safety standards last year when we engaged with SAPS, but till today they haven’t come back to us. We’ll have to push to present the matter and other pressing issues to the portfolio committee for urgent interventions,” said Tapsosa president, Jones Maphalaphathwa.
 
According to Tapsosa, 15 security officers have been killed while on duty so far in 2020.

Tapsosa has also implored the Private Security Regulatory Authority to urgently engage stakeholders in “adopting a new safety and security strategy in the industry as mandated by the Deputy Minister of Police.”

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